Traxxas has a had a long and very successful run with the E-Revo, which reigned as the brand’s most powerful 4X4 until the X-Maxx stormed onto the scene. As the choice of countless “bashers” (the worst term ever for “non-racers,” but I digress), and a top choice of Traxxas’ skilled stunt drivers at NHRA races and other events, the E-Revo is a very well-known quantity. Ask anyone who goes hard with an E-Revo, and they’ll tell you exactly what you’re likely to break or wear out when going big with jumps and flips and wrecks and rolls. Which brings us to this: the new-for-2018 E-Revo. Now known as the “E-Revo VXL Brushless” rather than “Brushless Edition,” the truck is comprised almost entirely of new parts despite looking merely “refreshed.” Very few components have escaped Traxxas’ efforts to go thicker/tougher/stronger. Where Traxxas’ originally strove to make the E-Revo a lightweight “athlete” of a truck (remember, it came out back in the days of ROAR-sanctioned monster truck racing), the 2018 model is “Maxx-Spec” (as in X-Maxx) and aimed squarely at going fast, jumping high, hitting hard, and coming back for more. And what does that do to the price? Pricing will very with dealer, but the E-Revo’s minimum-advertised price will be $550–just $20 more than the current E-Revo.
New paint, new tires, new wheels…FOR STARTERS. The E-Revo “2” is waaaaay newer than it looks at a glance.
About that body: while it still has the E-Revo silhouette we’re all familiar with, it’s actually all-new and gets an X-Maxx style “skeleton” with quick-release system. There’s not a body clip to be found! Also note the bumper-like cap that sits on top of the body (or on top of the cage in this shot) to absorb rollover abuse. It also helps the new E-Revo (let’s call it the ER2 for short) rock back onto its roof using the self-righting technology that debuted with the X-Maxx.
With the body off, the ER2 doesn’t dramatically jump out as “new.” And yet, virtually every part of the truck has been altered. Even the chassis is a new part! Let’s zoom in (and take some stuff apart) so you can see what’s really going on here.
You want stronger diffs? Here you go, look how much larger and burlier the ER2 diffs are compared to OG flavor. The “Maxx Duty” ring and pinion gears have twice as much steel, and the diffs get four spider gears instead of two. Those outdrives are new, since the plastic universal-joint shafts are now replaced by…
…These steel “Maxx Duty” CV-joint monsters. The CV joint fits into a giant 17x26mm bearing that captures its crosspin, and the upright is a new molding. Traxxas’ signature splined 17mm hubs are in place, but instead of being fixed with a screw-pin, a smooth pin is used and secured by a setscrew inserted from the end of the 8mm steel stub axle.
Here’s the upright in place. The pivot balls, retainers, dust boots and boot-clips are among the few parts carried over from the original E-Revo.
The new motor plate is 5mm thick, nearly twice as thick as the original part. Note the insert in the mesh-adjustment slot; just choose the hole that matches your pinion size.
Old bulkhead on the left, new on the right. Instead of splitting into left and right halves, the new bulkheads split top to bottom to fully enclose and better support the diff. And the new bulkheads are much heavier-duty, with thicker walls and more reinforcement.
Here’s a look at the bulkheads in render form. Beefy.
New front and rear braces pass over the GTR shocks to bolster the chassis. The front brace also interfaces with the body’s internal cage to prevent flexing–no more cracking at the wheel wells.
Bare chassis view, via render. The one-piece main chassis is a new part, subtly different than the original design.
Old arms on the left, new arms on the right. You can see the new arms are more thickly molded; what you can’t see is the new material Traxxas has spec’d. The plastic formula is engineered to retain its strength even in the cold, ‘cuz Traxxas knows you’re going to play in the snow.
This render cuts away the new, thicker arms to show how the original arms compare.
Linkages are fatter and get beefier rod ends. The inset shows how the steering/toe rods no longer “step down” in diameter at the threads, and are threaded more deeply to prevent pull-outs.
Let’s talk tires. The Talon EXT tires have much a much thicker carcass than the original E-Revo tires, which makes the new Talons far less prone to ballooning. The tread elements are also much deeper for better gnarly-terrain traction. The wheels are new too, with thicker spokes and more of them–six instead of five. The wheels are simply molded in black, no chrome or black chrome to show scratches.
The ER2 is still 6S-rated, of course, but the VXL-6S speed control and 2200Kv motor are engineered in-house and manufactured by Traxxas, not “powered by Castle.” In the transmission you’ll find wide X-Maxx style gears with Mod 1 (25.4 pitch) teeth and a Torque-Biasing Center Drive, also like the X-Maxx.
This renders shows the compact gear arrangement and the Torque-Biasing Center Drive–it’s basically a super-strong center differential filled with ultra-thick fluid (it’s practically putty) to resist unloading.
Driving the New E-Revo
Everything that makes the E-Revo such a blast in original form returns with the ER2; it’s all about what’s missing. Namely, extreme tire ballooning and that out-of-control feeling when driving on 6S. I’ve always liked the E-Revo better on 4S, which didn’t require me to tiptoe around full-throttle like 6S did. The new E-Revo feels as planted and predictable on 6S as the old truck did on 4S, but with all the power and speed you expect of 6S running. Traxxas Stability Management helps too, just as it did with the original E-Revo, but you’ll probably find yourself using less of it (or none) with the ER2. Self-righting is a super-convenient feature, and the new heavy-duty drivetrain is built for the stop-start throttle the system requires. Also nice: the quick-release body, which needs to be standard equipment on everything. Body clips need to go the way of e-clips and battery bars. The ER2 will unquestionably be tougher than the OG, though I wasn’t able to test that in any data-driven way. Just look at the parts–you know the ER2 is going to outlast the abuse that would have sidelined the original. More details and insight on durability to come as we put more packs through this bad boy for the RC Car Action review in the next issue.